Sweden: Gentleman Spy

The tall, coldly handsome Swedish aviator was a familiar figure on the Washington cocktail circuit. As Swedish air attache from 1952 to 1957, he impressed one U.S. Air Force general as "easy and outgoing, an extravert who got along very well." West Pointers found him "spoony"—meaning suave. He played a cool, quiet game of golf at the Army-Navy Club, his balding, white-fringed head bent over his putter as generals and admirals chatted.

His conversation was hardly memorable, except that he worried aloud and a lot about radicals and leftists. When he went home, the U.S. Government presented him with the...

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